Daily Archives: April 22, 2010

April 26, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia, running Dry

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Ukraine suckers Russia, but Good!

(3)  Barbaric Russia, on the Rampage

(4)  Putin sticks it to the Russian Nation

(5)  More Russian Tennis Humiliation

EDITORIAL: Russia, Running Dry


Russia, Running Dry

According to a stunning, nearly 200-page analytical report released last week by the United Nations (see page 24):

The threat of depletion of Russia’s proven and accessible oil resources in 20-30 years time has become a real threat, mainly because of inadequate exploration in the past decade and more difficult extraction conditions, which require work in remote regions with harsh climate. Even during the recent boom years (2002–2008) the depletion date came nearer (from 26.3 to 21.9 years) (Figure 1.8). Reserve replacement is progressing very slowly and the crisis has clearly worsened the situation.

The situation with natural gas reserves is better, mainly due to huge deposits, which are sufficient for 70 years of production. But the expected depletion date for natural gas has moved closer by 9.4 years in the last decade, canceling out reserve replacement.

You read that right:  Within this century, Russia is likely to totally exhaust its reserves of both gas and oil.  Crude oil, by far more important to Russia in terms of generating essential foreign exchange, may be entirely gone as soon as 2030. 

Let’s repeat that:  Within two decades, three at the most, there will be no more crude oil for Russia to sell abroad unless new sources are found or the current rate of is drastically curtailed.  Within one generation, Russia’s gas resources may also disappear (if the last decade’s trend continues in the next, Russia’s gas will likely exhaust in 2070).  Russia’s hard currency reserves, before this century is out, will rapidly dwindle to nothing, the value of the ruble will plummet, the stock market will collapse and the price of imported goods will soar far beyond the means of ordinary people, an apocalypse in a country which produces virtually no worthy consumer products of its own.

The reason is simple:  Russia is guzzling oil and gas in a pathological manner because its industry is profligately wasteful and the climate demands extreme consumption which the Kremlin must vastly subsidize since it rules an impoverished population.  And Russia is selling oil abroad at a frenzied rate in order to bolster its flagging domestic economy and to fund the savage cold-war aggression of the KGB Kremlin.  By contrast, Russia is failing to invest energy proceeds in development of new energy assets, squandering them instead on cold-war politics.  This wicked one-two punch to the nation’s economic solar plexus will soon bring the national economy to its knees.

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EDITORIAL: Ukraine suckers Russia, but Good!


Ukraine suckers Russia, but Good!

Last week, Ukraine’s new president Victor Yanukovich sold a piece of his country to Putin’s Russia in exchange for wildly reduced prices on natural gas.

Specifically, Yanukovich renewed Russia’s lease on its naval base on the Black Sea at Sevastopol from 2017 to 2042.  For Yanukovich, it was the deal of the century. For Russian “president” Dima Medvedev, it was yet another amazing sucker move.

The irony in light of our lead editorial in this issue is palpable:  Russia is running out of gas rapidly, yet it is going to send a flow of cheap energy to Ukraine indefinitely in order to secure a naval base which offers Russia absolutely no strategic value, since the Russian “navy” is a mere figment of the Kremlin’s imagination, in reality nothing more than rusty, creaking bucket of bolts.

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Barbaric Russia, on the Rampage

The Moscow Times reports:

Young people who gathered to celebrate spring by blowing bubbles at an annual flash mob in central St. Petersburg were attacked by a group of suspected neo-Nazis who mistook the gathering for a gay pride event, flash mob organizers said.

Some 500 people stood blowing bubbles on the steps of Gorkovskaya metro station and in the surrounding Alexandrovsky Park at about 4 p.m. Sunday — the agreed time for the start of the flash mob — when about 30 men ran up and started beating them and firing rubber bullets.

Several people fell to the ground before the attackers fled at the sight of approaching OMON riot police officers. A reporter saw officers detain at least one attacker. Police also detained about 30 bubble-blowers for five hours on suspicion of walking on the grass, a charge that they denied, organizers said.

Unconfirmed media reports said at least two participants were injured, one with a concussion and the other from a rubber bullet from an attacker’s gun.

Repeated calls to the police’s press office went unanswered.

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Putin sticks it to the Russian Nation

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

During his visit to Murmansk on Saturday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin demonstrated his concern for the people by “spontaneously” popping into a pharmacy unannounced to see if Arbidol flu medicine was available and at what price.

Putin’s Arbidol visit was broadcast throughout the day and evening on national television news programs, which will surely boost the product’s sales more than the best advertising campaign could ever do.

Arbidol is made by Pharmstandard, with headquarters in the Moscow region. Why did Putin act as an advertising agency for the company, going out of his way in Murmansk to mention Arbidol by name?

Here is a short chronology of events behind Arbidol’s miraculous success:

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More Russian Ladies’ Tennis Humiliation

The month of April brought five WTA tour events, including the “fifth grand slam” at the Sony Erickson Open in Miami, Florida.  Five events meant ten opportunities for Russians to contest for a title.

Yet, despite having three of the world’s top ten players, Russia did not win a single title, and indeed placed only one of its female players into a final. That was Vera Zvonareva, who was brutally crushed  at the event in Charleston. In Russia’s only bid for a title, Zvonareva managed to win just three of 15 games played, none in the first set, in a truly pathetic and humiliating display.

But it was nothing compared to what occurred at the vaunted Miami event.  

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